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Volume 2, Number 4
May 2005

D. Joshua Taylor - Member USGenWeb at FGS 2006 Program Committee
The USGenWeb Project is proud to announce that in celebration of our 10th Anniversary, USGenWeb will sponsor a track at the 2006 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference. The conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, home to the oldest genealogical society in the United States and the local host for the 2006 conference - the New England Historic Genealogical Society, August 30-September 2, 2006

We are currently seeking proposals for lectures from members of the USGenWeb Project relating to the subject(s) of Technology and Genealogy, Using Specific Projects or Aspects of USGenWeb, and Internet Publishing for Genealogy (i.e. website development, website publicity, website building, strategies for converting data, etc.)

Lecture sessions will be 50 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions. Two-part sessions are also welcome (i.e., two lecture periods). USGenWeb will sponsor a total of 20 lecture sessions during the four-day conference.

USGenWeb cannot offer compensation for travel, meals, or speaking time. USGenWeb can offer speakers the chance to participate in the national conference and share their methods and ideas with hundreds of genealogists. In addition, selected speakers will receive a complimentary free registration to the 2006 FGS Conference.

Speakers may submit any number of proposals, and may be able to present multiple lectures at the conference. Speakers are not required to have experience presenting material at a regional or national conference before, but some previous presentations on the subject are encouraged. An example of a submission may be found at

The people selected to speak at the conference will be notified no later than June 1, 2005.

Those who are selected will receive detailed information about preparing a syllabus for their program. The syllabus will need to be submitted by January 1, 2006.

Please send your submissions in PDF, Word, or WordPerfect format no later than MAY 18, 2005. Submissions should include:
-Class Title
-Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address
-Designation of audience level (beginning, intermediate, advanced)
-Length of presentation
-Class Description (1-2 sentences)
-Brief Class Outline
-Speaker Bio (2-3 sentences)
-Audio-Visual Needs
-List of Recent Lecture Experiences
-List of USGenWeb Involvement

Submissions and any questions should be directed to .

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to receiving your proposals!

Tina Vickery - Election Committee
In order to receive a voting password for USGenWeb national level elections and polls you must be registered with the EC (Election Committee). To receive a voting password for the USGenWeb National Election, you must be registered no later than 31 May, 2005. If you have previously registered and your registration (i.e., email address, participation within the project, etc.) has not changed, you do not need to re-register. If you have questions about your registration, please contact your Elections Committee representative prior to submitting a new registration.

If you were a member of USGenWeb on or before 1 February 2004 and your name was submitted to the EC by your State or Project leadership, you were automatically registered. If you are unsure of your registration status, you may ask your area EC Representative, or you may submit a Registration form.

Members joining USGenWeb or those who have taken on additional roles will not be automatically registered, and must register themselves. Example: You were a CC in a particular state. You resigned that county, and now have a county in another state. To ensure you will receive a voting password for that region, you must inform the EC that you have changed states.

If you are currently registered but do not wish to receive a voting password, or if you leave the Project entirely, please contact an EC Representative to have your name removed from the Registered List.

The EC has an online registration form:

To learn who to contact on the EC, go to:

Please bookmark the EC website for the latest Election and Registration news:

***Registration information is confidential to the Election Committee, and will not be shared with Project leadership or other members. It is used only to send voting passwords. Do not depend on your SC or other project leadership to see that you are registered, or that appropriate changes are made.

Thank you,
The USGenWeb Election Committee

Ellen Pack - MSGenWeb State Coordinator
A genealogy workshop was presented by MSGenWeb volunteers at the new Brandon Public Library, Brandon, Rankin County, MS on April 16, 2005.

The event was coordinated by MSGenWeb CC Jackie Rhodes. It was sponsored by The Rankin County Historical Society, and The Friends of the Brandon Library, with special assistance by library contact Jonelle Anderson. The goal was to help raise funds for the new Genealogy Room.

Approximately 22 MSGenWeb volunteers and family members from around the country attended and/or participated in the day long event. Others who could not attend were extremely helpful in the preparation. This was truly a whole state effort. The turnout was excellent, and the reviews have been great.

This seminar is the fourth such activity in which MSGenWeb has participated over the years. That's a tremendous tribute to each and every MSGW volunteer. It's not an easy task to pull something like this together via a mail list and an occasional phone call, sometimes scurrying at the last minute to solve an unexpected problem. Yet the MSGenWeb volunteers accomplished it well. They helped a lot of researchers, made new friends, and had a *lot* of fun and laughs in the process. I am honored to be State Coordinator for such a great group of volunteers.

For more information and photographs:

Thank you,
Ellen Pack
State Coordinator, MSGenWeb

Sharon Rhodes - Editor
Graves can often provide information beyond the names and dates on the tombstone.
1. Check the stone for markers that might give clues to church or group membership.
2. If you can't find the grave of a relative, check the local history for epidemics. Check cemeteries in the area for mass burials.
3. Sometimes the position of the grave holds clues. "Christians believe [believed] that the Angel Gabriel would appear in the east on Resurrection Day, bodies in the cemetery were often buried with the person's feet pointing to the east. The thought being when they arose from the dead, then they would be facing the east to see the Angel Gabriel."1 Blacks were often buried facing east. "One freed slave explained that the dead should not have to turn around when Gabriel blows his trumpet in the eastern sunrise. Others have suggested they were buried facing Africa." 2 Early Quaker cemeteries often contain unmarked graves in cemeteries where individuals were buried in rows as they died. 3

Gravestone Markers
Veterans Administration images of church crosses for headstones.
Gravestone Marker symbols from the International Black Sheep Society Of Genealogists

An informative article from the University of Hartford.
Some class notes from Indiana University
List of known epidemics with a source for the list.

Mass Graves

Burial Customs
Davison Community Schools list of links, Davison, MI

1. Old Wives' Tales. "Funeral and Burial Traditions". Accessed Apr 2 2005.
2. Chicora Foundation, Inc. Grave Matters: the Preservation of African-American Cemeteries. "What is the History of African-American Cemeteries?". 1996. South Carolina Information Highway.
3. Margaret Sherman Lutzvick. "Old Quaker Cemetery, Macedon Center, Macedon, Wayne County, New York". Accessed Apr 2 2005. Wayne County NYGenWeb Site.

The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and are not necessarily those of the USGenWeb Project .

You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of The USGenWeb Project. For address changes, or to be added to or removed from the mailing list visit the EC WebSite and contact your EC Rep.
To submit articles, letters and ideas, write to
The USGenWeb NEWS is archived at
Editor: Sharon Rhodes
Copy Editor: Greta Thompson
Contributors: Ellen Pack, Julie McGrew-Ayers, Mike Jarvis, Greta Thompson, Sharon Rhodes
© 2004, The USGenWeb Project. Permission to reprint articles from this newsletter is granted when the author and The USGenWeb Project News are credited.


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